Course outline

Interpretation & Application of Tax Treaties – Course Outline

Day 1 – Introduction to tax treaties and OECD and UN models
Case studies
Purpose of tax treaties, kinds of treaties, how tax treaties are made, structure of tax treaties
Tax treaty terminology
Termination of treaties, dates – date of signature, effective date, date of entry into force
The OECD model tax treaty [NB At least one-third of the day is spent on this topic]
The UN Model compared to the OECD model tax treaty
The OECD and its work in the area of treaties
The UN and its work in the area of treaties
A brief overview of BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) and the MLI (Multilateral Instrument)

Day 2 – Review of tax treaty articles
Case studies
Detailed review of most typical tax treaty articles including an introduction to complex treaty issues
Treaty articles that vary from the OECD model
Double taxation – dangers and tax planning opportunities under treaties
Reference to the law and practice in specific important countries
A brief overview of ATAD (the EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive) as it affects treaties
A further review the MLI (Multilateral Instrument)

Day 3 – Advanced treaty issues
Case studies
Treaties and various entities – including transparent entities, hybrid entities, trusts, funds, cooperatives, etc., including classification of entities and the issue of residency of such entities
Permanent establishment (PE) issues
o When does a PE exist (advanced aspects)?
o Complex issues concerning the attribution of profits to a PE
o Transfer of assets between head office and permanent establishment
o Shipping and aircraft PEs
o Other selected PE issues
Interpretation of treaties
o The Vienna Convention
o Main principles
o Interaction between Article 3(2) and the Vienna Convention
o The OECD Commentaries
o Specific country references
o Current trends
o Important court decisions and government circulars, etc
o Update on recent court decisions
Beneficial ownership – history and current law and practice in many jurisdictions
Extra-territorial taxation of capital gains on the sale of shares, with reference to Australia, India, Kazakhstan and China
A review of various countries’ digital services tax, ‘Google Tax’, diverted profits tax and the like – and their relationship with treaties
A further review of ATAD (the EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive) as it affects treaties
The MLI (Multilateral Instrument)
Extensive references to the law and practice in specific important jurisdictions